Purpose: Recently, rapid prototyping (RP) can be applied to various medical fields and plays a valuable role. RP is useful for preoperative planning and simulation, but cost is high and some materials might have a harmful effect on the earth and human body. Our RP using salt is low cost and made from all safety materials. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of preoperative surgical planning and simulation with RP using salt in maxillofacial surgery.
Methods: Twenty four patients consisting of 6 males and 18 females (mean age 40.6 years) were enrolled in this study. All CT scans were performed in Yokohama General Hospital and RP were prepared using Sony’s full-color solid printer (this system is in its own research phase) at Sony Corporation. Eleven RP were applied to orthognathic surgery and 10 were applied to implant related surgery and 1 was applied to trauma, malformation and reconstructive surgery. Nine simulation sites were in maxilla and 18 were in mandible. And other sites were iliac and fibula.
Results: All cases were very useful for preoperative planning.
In particular, the simulation of orthognathic surgery is very helpful for 3D imaging. However, fractures of replicas occurred in 8 sites (29.6%) during simulation.
Conclusion: RP using salt was very effective for maxillofacial surgery.
The feeling of the simulated surgery seems to be close to operating on a real bone. However, thin parts of the replicas are friable and some fractures occurred during drilling because salt RP are not sticky.
Conflict of interest: None declared.